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Pickleball is an exciting sport that involves the use of a pickle ball net, paddle, and perforated plastic ball.
It’s a unique combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong that has gained a lot of traction among participants both professionally and in recreational play.
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Ideal for all ages and skill sets, the concept of this game is simple, however, developing special moves and tricks takes some practice.
Among the many skills a player can learn, mastering how to spin the ball is crucial.
Perfecting this technique increases their chances of winning and makes for a more challenging, interesting game.
If a pickleball player can learn how to develop this skill, they will have an immediate advantage over their opponents.
They’ll find themselves moving from beginners to experienced players participating in competitive, fast-paced games. The right pickleball racket is essential to having a powerful spin.
Unfortunately, finding the right and the best pickleball paddle isn’t always an easy task due to the hundreds of pickleball rackets for spin available.
Along with this, there are dozens of manufacturers and brands to choose from that range in different sizes, weight, and construction.
An effective way to choose a paddle right for you is by trying it out to see how it feels in your hand and while swinging.
To save you some time, we decided to make our own top pickleball paddles review, designed specifically to help add spin to your game.
Here are our top choices for the best paddle to help you spin the ball:
|EDITOR'S CHOICE||1. Engage Encore Pro
|RUNNER UP||2. Onix Composite Z5
|3. ProLite CRUSH PowerSpin
|4. HEAD Radical Pro Pickleball Paddle
|5. Onix Graphite Z5
- 1. Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddles Reviews
- 2. Onix Composite Z5
- 3. ProLite CRUSH PowerSpin
- 4. HEAD Radical Pro Pickleball Paddle
- 5. Onix Graphite Pickleball Paddles Z5
- Best Pickleball Paddles of 2021
- Why Having the Right Paddle For Spin Makes A Difference
- Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide
- What kind of a player are you?
This pickleball paddle offers several unique features and characteristics placing it on our top 5 list.
As you may already know Engage Pickleball is a commonly known USA-based brand that designs paddles intended for this sport.
They are a leading brand when it comes down to pickleball equipment. Their products are used by beginners to professional players.
This Paddle is among the best pickleball paddle for spin. Made from polymer honeycomb, the skin’s material is fiberglass.
Its design enhances the feel of paddle-ball contact to maximize the time the ball stays on the paddle. Additionally, the rough skin maximizes the spin placed on the ball.
Additionally, this paddle is categorized into the mid-weight category weighting from 7.8-8.3 ounces. It’s medium sized grip is 4 ¼ inches and the paddle face itself is specifically designed to allow for a good amount of spin when serving or returning shots.
You can purchase this in any of the following four colors: black, red, purple, or green.
Engage Encore Pro Advantages:
- Maximum control and power
- Comfortable grip
- Effective ball placement
- Great for all levels
There are certain pickleball paddles that will never go out of style, and the Onix Pickleball Composite Z5 is one of them!
This racket is commonly used by players and easily accessible online and even in retail stores.
A Nomex honeycomb paddle with a widebody and graphite face, it will most likely always be commonly sought by players of all levels.
About 8” wide, the widebody part of the paddle is ideal for beginners since missing the ball are less likely.
It’s also a great selection for advanced players due to it’s lightweight, but hard face.
Offering a large sweet spot, this paddle gives you powerful hits with just the right amount of spin.
The Onix Z5 weights about 8.4-8.7 ounces placing it on the heavier side. It’s 4 ¼ inch grip size is great for players that already have good ball control but need that extra pop from the baseline.
Onix Z5 Advantages:
- Great for all levels
- Maximum power and pop
The name is this paddle says it all. It is a powerful racket used by beginner to advanced players.
Achieving a great spin on the ball is one of the benefits this selection brings.
The CRUSH PowerSpin not only looks great, but they are masters when it comes down to performance.
The graphic design of this paddle involves splashes of blues to give it a vibrant look. While it’s a great looking pickleball racket, it’s also very functional as well!
It definitely stands out from the rest by offering a light head weight for faster returns and smaller grip size to add control.
Made from QuadCoreTM Power Polymer honeycomb cell technology, they withstand any challenges on the court.
It is lighter than the previously mentioned paddle weighing 7.4-7.8 ounces.
Additionally, players will benefit from its durable SPINtac surface designed to enhance spin control.
ProLite CRUSH PowerSpin Advantages:
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Approved for noise restricted communities with quiet zones
- Nice graphic design
- Oversized face for maximum control/power
This paddle is constructed to offer players high-performing features while keeping noise to a minimum.
Perfect for a wide range of players, the Radical Elite offers a larger sweet spot for power as well as a thicker core and an ergo grip for great playability.
HEAD engineers have optimized the Tubular Construction (OTC) of the polypropylene honeycomb core to create perfect playability, feel and sound suited for all levels of play.
This lightweight pickleball paddle features HEAD’s fiberglass hitting surface that offers excellent feel and ample power for the competitive player.
The design is very popular among players making their paddle stand out for all the right reasons.
This paddle is available in blue, gold, red, or purple.
HEAD Radical Pro Pickleball Paddle Advantages:
- Comfort grip provides sweet spot
- Offers low noise level
- Fiberglass face adds spin to shots
Last but not least, this pickleball paddle continues to be extremely popular in the pickleball world.
Its solid construction is very attractive to players and used within the highest levels of competition.
The Onix Graphite Z5 offers great control and a large hitting area due to it’s wide face.
Weighing 7.5-8.2 ounces, players have found this to be a comfortable weight for them.
The handle length is about 5 inches offering comfort grip.
It’s no surprise this is the best-selling paddle in the Onix line. It offers great touch and superior ball control.
Lastly, we cannot overlook its stunning design which features a honeycomb graphic background with a giant Z on the face of the paddle.
This item is available in several colors including yellow, pink, blue, orange, red, purple, green, and white!
Onix Graphite Z5 Advantages:
- Great balance of speed and power
- Ideal for all levels
- Stunning graphic design
- Variety of colors to pick from
Best Pickleball Paddles of 2021
There are many paddles to choose from online but not every paddle will suit the player. For instance, there are pickleball paddles that best suit beginner players and some for the more advanced. You can even choose your pickleball paddle by material. Below I will go into detail about which pickleball paddle is best for you and which one I think is best overall.
Best Pickleball Paddle Overall
The best pickleball paddle overall for 2021 is the SLK Neo by Selkirk.
This paddle set featured a graphite face and was designed using honeycomb core technology. The paddles were made using Selkirk’s FiberFlex Fiberglass technology to help with the players' performance on both indoor and outdoor courts.
These pickleball paddles weigh only 7.5OZ, balancing them out between lightweight paddles and medium-weight paddles. Additionally, SLK pickleball paddles use ultra-comfort grip material, which absorbs sweat and also allows you to play all day without feeling cramps in your palms afterward. Another important fact to keep in mind, lots of courts have noise restrictions, and these paddles are extremely quiet.
For the price and quality of the SLK Neo, it’s a no-brainer when I say it's the best pickleball paddle overall. The only con I could find to this paddle was that it doesn’t come in any fun colors. The paddle either comes in black and blue or black and red; the look is very clean and professional, so it’s definitely something I can let slide.
SLK Neo Advantages:
- Made from graphite material
- Weighs 7.5oz
- Noise resistant
Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners
XL 1.2 Pickleball Paddle
When you first start playing pickleball, it’s important your paddle is the right paddle for you. You must first learn to be in control of the ball and learn to move around the court with your paddle.
The HUDEF XL 1.2 pickleball paddle is the paddle for you. Weighing in at around 8oz, it is the perfect weight to give you the right amount of control and maneuverability around the court.
When picking out your first pickleball paddle, you want a paddle that will have the best anti-slip performance. The HUDEF XL 1.2 pickleball paddle is made of an ultra-durable face. The composite fiber face has great anti-slip performance, allowing the player to have better control of the ball. At the same time, the polypropylene honeycomb core gives you a non-vibration feeling. The polymer is also the best choice for areas with noise restrictions.
When compared to other paddles, this paddle is very affordable and of the best quality for beginner players. The only downside is that some people have complained about the handle breaking after hitting the paddle on the concrete floor a few times, but the company has a 1-year warranty and honors it very well.
HUDEF XL 1.2 Advantages:
- Anti-slip performance
- Suitable for beginners
Best Pickleball Paddle for Advanced Players
Nexxed Pro Pickleball Paddle
The name says it all. The Nexxed Pro pickleball paddle is a USAPA approved professional paddle and is qualified for use in tournaments. The paddle was made by a professional pickleball player making it the best paddle for advanced players.
Made from High Tech Core technology, the paddles' polypropylene honeycomb core dampens the vibrations giving the player more power and maximum control. Additionally, the core absorbs the vibration and redirects that energy back to your ball and away from your elbow and arm, allowing you to play on the court for hours without getting injured or feeling sore later in the day.
Furthermore, Nexxed Pro paddle is wind resistant, allowing the player to have better control of the ball while playing at a faster speed.
If you’re ready to start playing like a professional, this is the paddle you need to switch to. I must say, it is a bummer that they don’t have different colors to choose from but I think the quality and price are worth it.
Nexxed Pro Advantages:
- High Tech core technology
- Wind resistant
- Great quality
Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle
The Rally Graphite Power 5.0
You can really feel the satisfaction out on the court when playing with this paddle. With it’s super comfortable grip and broad surface area, you’re bound to play a great game.
This paddle has an enhanced sweet spot allowing the player to generate more power with less effort. The graphite material lets the paddle initiate power even when a ball hits the edge of the paddle. The Rally Graphite Power 5.0 has a vertigrab surface that spreads the ball impact evenly, leaving the player with a smoother feel, more control, and consistency in every shot.
A big downside to the paddle is the short handle. If you have big hands, this paddle will not be comfortable for you. But if you have small hands and love the game, this paddle is perfect for you! It’s medium weight and suits intermediate or advanced players.
Rally Graphite Power 5.0 Advantages:
- Enhanced sweet spot
- Vertigrab surface
- Short handle
Best Buy Pickleball Paddle
The Selkirk Prime
This epic (literally) Selkirks paddle, is probably the best pickleball paddle buy. It’s not the cheapest paddle you can find online but it is one of the cheapest for the quality that you’re getting.
Selkirks paddles are made with the finest materials and leading-edge technology. The paddle is made with Selkirks has proven FiberFlex Face technology and X4 core maintaining a large sweet spot and giving the player lots of control and power throughout the game.
All of Selkirks paddles are USAPA and a lot of professional pickleball players play with their paddles for the best performance. If you want to improve your skills on the court and you’re ready to purchase a more expensive paddle, this is the paddle for you. It even comes in really pretty colors!
The Selkirk Prime Advantages:
- USAPA approved
- FiberFlex Face technology and X4 core
- Longer handle for two-handed swings
Why Having the Right Paddle For Spin Makes A Difference
So how do you achieve spinning the ball in pickleball?
As a player, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. There are two basic ways you can spin the ball.
The first one involves you moving your racket from low to high, to create a topspin. This is helpful when hitting a lob or serving since you can cause the ball to bounce inward toward the player making it harder for them to strike back.
There is also the option of using a backspin also known as a slice. Using a continental grip, move your paddle from high to low.
You’ll quickly notice that causing a ball to spin take some practice. Both of these spins prove successful to getting you ahead in the game of pickleball and having the right paddle can give you more spin on your shots.
When looking for the right pickleball paddle you want to keep three things in mind: weight, grip size, hitting surface size, and materials.
We have broken this down for you.
This is one of the most important factors when selecting a paddle. Ranging anywhere from 6 to 14 ounces, a rackets weight will affect the control, and power you have.
Lighter paddles will give you more control (less drive) while heavier ones give you less control (more drive).
Additionally, because the weight of your paddle will affect your overall game you need a racket that is comfortable to hold. There are three options for weight that will help you decide whether you need a light (<7.3 oz), medium (7.3-8.4 oz), or heavy (8.5-9.5 oz).
Light paddles require less arm strength and generate more head speed. They are great for hard hitting players and a more popular option for doubles players.
Medium paddles are a good choice for beginners who haven’t figured out their playing preferences just yet. They are also good picks if you want both power and discretion.
Last, heavy pickleball rackets are used for power players. These rackets provide more power and pop than other weights, but they do lack a little control.
They require more arm strength and can aggravate your elbow often. These are popular for single players who are light hitters.
Paddle Grip Size
Additionally, you need a grip size that fits your hand. One that is too large can slip out of your hand making you prone to injury.
Smaller grips offer more wrist action giving you a more controlled spin while larger grips provide more stability.
A simple rule of thumb to keep in mind when deciding what grip size is good for you is considering your height. Short players under 5’2” do well with a 4-inch grip while medium sized players between 5’3” and 5’8” do well with a 4 ¼ inch grip.
Lastly, players above 5’9” usually benefit most from a 4 ½ inch grip.
Tennis players usually prefer thicker handles while badminton players often like narrower handles. The best way to know what handle works for you is experimenting with a few rackets until you find the right grip.
Paddle Hitting Surface Size
If you are brand new to pickleball you may want to consider buying a paddle with a wider hitting area. This will make dinking easier and limit the number of shots missed.
Advanced players prefer paddles with a narrower hitting area since they are lighter. Pickleball paddles vary from many sizes and shapes to offer flexible options for everyone.
Paddle Construction Materials
Finally, the material of a racket cannot be overlooked.
In general, they are made from three main materials: wood, composite, and graphite. The heaviest paddles are wooden and are also the least expensive.
Graphite paddles are most expensive, but they are also very light and powerful.
The material from which a pickleball paddle is made from has a direct impact on the weight and deflection of the racket. Originally, when this sport was first invented, rackets were made from wood.
Over time, lighter, more sophisticated options came into play including polymer, graphite, or composite pickleball paddles.
Consider these different materials when choosing a pickleball paddle:
- Wood – this material results in cheap, durable, and reliable paddles. The main downside is that they fall into the heavy weight category.
- Polymer Plastic – a blend of plastics, these are lightweight, durable, and affordable. Because their performance isn’t as keen as other materials, they are not used too often by pickleball players.
- Graphite – these are a more popular choice among competitors and professional pickleball players. Their honeycomb inner core and think graphite skin make them extremely responsive and strong. They offer excellent control and are great for dinking at the net.
- Composite – this type of paddle normally utilizes fiberglass to create a responsive surface. They are very technologically advanced bringing forward several advantages such as lightness, good control and power, or optimal performance.
Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide
Before you go spending your money on just any paddle on the internet, there’s so much you need to check. You need to ask yourself, what kind of player are you? Is this your first time on the court? Is this a hobby? Are you aiming to be a professional? You need to think about how often you’re going to be playing on the court throughout the week and what kind of court you will be playing on. Is it going to be outside or inside?
Some paddles are made to be sound-resistant for noise-restricted courts. Others are wind resistant. Knowing your court and surroundings will also help you pick the proper paddle.
I know it’s easy to just browse the web and see something that looks cool so you order it instinctively, but it is important to do your research so you don’t end up wasting your money on something of poor quality that may even cause you injury in the end.
When picking a paddle, remember, you can find lightweight paddles and some paddles that are more on the heavy side, they both have lots of pros and cons, but you need to decide which is the right fit for you and your abilities on the court.
Moreover, the material your paddle is made of is key to your performance on the court. Okay, maybe not key, but it plays a huge role in how you play. Having a good core in your paddle will help prevent injury. You want a core made from polymer to redirect the energy of the impact back to the ball and not up towards your elbow. You want to pick the best paddle so that you can spend as much time on the court without feeling sore and, of course, a paddle that has great durability.
Below, I will detail some of the features that you need to consider when purchasing a paddle. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be playing like a pro in no time with your new paddle!
I have already stressed this a few times, but when buying a paddle, remember to check the material. The different materials have lots of different effects on a player.
There are a few main materials you will run into when looking for a pickleball paddle. Wood, graphite, polymer plastics, and composite.
If you want a cheap and affordable paddle, you can go for the paddles made of wood but know that they tend to be heavier than most paddles and because they’re made of wood, they end up breaking faster. Another affordable option is polymer plastics. Unlike the wooden paddles, these paddles are lightweight and durable, but most advanced players prefer not to play with this specific material because it doesn’t perform well like other materials.
Paddles made of graphite are a favorite amongst professional pickleball players. The material is exceptionally strong and responsive, allowing the player to have control of the ball. Graphite paddles tend to be more expensive, so if you’re looking for something affordable, I would say to really think about it when it comes to the material of your paddle. You’ll be spending more money now, but the paddle will last you longer than a wooden paddle or polymer plastic one so you’d be saving money in the long run.
Finally, a composite paddle is composed of different materials, unlike the graphite paddle, leaving it slightly heavier than paddles made of only graphite. The combination of different materials leaves the composite paddle with a textured surface giving the player a better advantage on the court with the balls.
The weight of your paddle is an important factor to remember when choosing your paddle. There are three options for a weight that will help you narrow down what paddle is a proper fit for you.
A light paddle doesn’t require any arm strength, but it requires you to generate more speed when hitting the ball. Usually, a beginner will go with a medium-weight paddle because they’re still not sure how they play on the court, but in general, it’s a good choice if you want both power and control. The heavier paddles usually suit advanced players. They have more power and require arm strength. If you use heavier paddles, make sure they are a good fit for you, and you have the required arm strength for them, or you can find yourself seriously injured.
Paddles range from around 6 to 14 ounces; that is a huge difference. If you’re not sure what would work best for you, I would recommend starting with a medium-weight paddle and then deciding what’s a better fit.
What kind of a player are you?
When buying a paddle, you must ask yourself, what kind of player are you?
If you are a beginner, you will learn better and faster if you get yourself a proper paddle for the start. You need a paddle that will be bigger, longer, and on the lightweight side. It will give you some control of the ball and more surface space to get the hang of the game. Once you have a better idea of what kind of pickleball player you are and even how often you’re playing during the week, only then should you change up your paddle and move on to something a bit more serious.
Most of the time, you can use the same paddle for both indoor and outdoor pickleball. Some indoor courts are noise-restricted so, you must use a paddle that doesn’t make so much noise. Nowadays, though, most players use paddles made of graphite with a polymer core, and those are noise resistant so, you really don’t need to switch paddles on the two courts.
To sum it all up for you, make sure that the paddle you’re buying is the proper paddle for you and your level on the court. Remember that just because something is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s of the best quality. Research before you spend your money. And if you are a beginner, I highly recommend you buy yourself a paddle for beginners so you can learn to play properly. We don’t want anyone injuring themselves out there!
Also, all paddles are for everyone; there is no such thing as a paddle for men or women. Just go out there and have fun!
As you will notice, finding the perfect pickleball paddle for you requires some research.
Regardless of your skill level, age, height, or shot preference there is a great pickleball paddle available for you.
Inexperienced players will usually start off with a lightweight racket that has an oversized hitting surface.
We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your decision when shopping for a quality pickleball paddle.
All of the information and suggestions listed above should get you off to a great start in the game of pickleball.
Always remember that this game was made for all ages and levels of expertise.
Here is a YouTube video demonstrating the Pro-Lite Rebel Powerspin:
Whether you are a young player who just started playing or a seasoned pro, we know you will benefit from our selection above.
We understand the purchase of a new paddle can be an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be! We wish you the best of luck in finding the paddle right for you.
Last Updated on June 12, 2021